Tournaments versus Piece Rates under Limited Liability
AbstractLecture on the first SFB/TR 15 meeting, Gummersbach, July, 18 - 20, 2004The existing literature on the comparison of tournaments and piece rates as alternative incentive schemes has focused on the case of unlimited liability. However, in practice real workersâ€™ wealth is typically restricted. Therefore, this paper compares both schemes under the assumption of limited liability. The results show that if the cost function is sufficiently convex, first-best effort will be more likely implemented under piece rates than under tournaments. Moreover, if first-best implementation is not achieved and workers earn positive rents, efforts and profits will be larger for piece rates than for tournaments given sufficiently convex costs. While tournaments offer a partial insurance due to their fixed prizes, piece rates may not work any longer if potential losses become prohibitively high. Finally, if risk is sufficiently high, piece rates will dominate tournaments despite the partial insurance effect of tournament compensation. Since effort costs and risk may depend on an individual workerâ€™s characteristics, on the characteristics of his job and on his hierarchical position, these findings have important implications for the choice of incentive schemes and the allocation of workers in firms.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 15.
Date of creation: Jul 2004
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More information through EDIRC
incentives; limited liability; piece rates; rank-order tournaments;
Other versions of this item:
- Matthias Kräkel, 2004. "Tournaments versus Piece Rates under Limited Liability," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse8_2004, University of Bonn, Germany.
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
- M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Personnel Economics
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-10-29 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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